GMO rice strain yields more, requires less fertilizer

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A strain of genetically modified rice that promises 50 per cent greater yield and uses significantly less fertiliser has been developed by British scientists.

. . . .

Researchers have shown in field trials in China that a particular protein found naturally in rice helps it to access more of the nitrogen in soil or fertiliser.

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When the [expression] of the gene that makes this protein is artificially increased the rice can make better use of the nutrients available . . . The British scientists have licensed the technology to companies looking to insert the same gene into cereal crops in the hope that it could increase global food production in other staple foods as well as rice.

Plants tap into two main sources of nitrogen. One is ammonium in the soil, the other nitrates. . . the genetically modified strains of rice could make better use of both forms.

. . . .

This means that with the same amount of fertiliser, the yield can be dramatically improved. . . . and so help to reduce the environmental impact associated with nitrogen-based fertilisers.

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Read full, original post: Breakthrough on GM rice will help feed the world

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